itinerary help- Provence

Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 07:37 AM
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itinerary help- Provence

Hi,

I would really appreciate comments and feedback on our week long trip to South of France. We are a couple in our thirties. I am pregnant (so don’t want the trip to be too rushed). We would be there from 25th June to 2nd July. We would be taking the Eurostar, so would not be jet lagged.

Really want to see the lavender fields, sunflower fields (if possible), though I understand that we might be slightly early for that. Also want to visit some picturesque villages and eat good food. I am a vegetarian and my husband eats fish.

In the Rivera we largely want to relax, maybe be at the beach for a couple of days and visit a couple of towns without being too rushed. I will post the Rivera part of the itinerary on a separate thread.

This is the tentative plan that we have come up with:
25th – reach Avignon in the afternoon. Get the hire car. Get some lunch. Visit the Pope’s palace and then go to Pont St Benezet. Go to the hill near the Pope’s palace for the views.
Would have loved to go to Pont Du Gard, however we don’t have enough time.
Get some dinner and go to Le Thor- where we are staying at www.le-clos-des-sorgues.fr

26th June- These are some of the places I would like to visit:
- Fontaine de vaucluse: Fontaine De Vaucluse looks like an extremely pretty and different village. The caves look great, and we thought it might be a good addition.
- Abbaye Notre Dame de Senanque : Brilliant photo op. So wouldn’t want to miss it
- Gordes – It looks absolutely gorgeous. We would like to get some lunch here. Any suggestions please? Unfortunately we will miss the weekly market as it is held on Tuesdays.
- Roussillon- would want to do the Ocres trail. Is it too demanding? I am five months pregnant and find climbing uphill a bit of a challenge. But can do that for an hour or so at a slow speed. This trail is open till 6:30pm.
- Apt: Again quite picture perfect and brilliant lavender fields (from what I have read).

They seem quite close to each other and seem really doable. However we don’t want to be rushing in and out of places. Would it be too much to visit all these places in a day?

Dinner: somewhere close to where we are (i.e. near Le thor). Or we would also be open to getting a picnic packed and bringing it back to the bnb.

27th June: This is the tricky day:
These are the places that we would like to go to:
- Sault
- Valensole


Should we go to these on two different days? What other places should we visit? Would we have seen enough of Lavender fields on the day before and visiting either Sault or Valensole would be enough?
28th June: Avignon, Arles and Pont du Gard or Sault or Valensole
Where can we possibly see sunflower fields? Can we see Lavender and sunflower together? I ahven’t had a chance to look for markets. But are there markets in the villages and towns when we are there and which would be the main ones to look for?

Please feel free to give me suggestions about any dining options that you might think of. Ideally without wine our budget would be in the range of 30euro/head. We could spend a bit more for a really special meal.
I will post the rest of the trip of a separate thread. Please let me know your comments on this. Hoping to get lots of advice.

Thanks a ton!!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 07:40 AM
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Auto correct does funny things- I obviously mean Riviera
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 07:53 AM
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"Apt: Again quite picture perfect and brilliant lavender fields (from what I have read)."

Hmmm ... I thought Apt (or "Apartment", as my GPS called it when we approached ) was a bit homely and out of character compared to the smaller more scenic places on your list.

Abbaye Notre Dame de Senanque, Gordes (go early if possible to avoid the crowds), Roussillon and pretty much all roads to/from Sault are well worth the time spent.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 08:08 AM
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Hi Bill

Thanks a lot for your response. I have only seen pictures and read on different websites. So maybe we need to re-think Apt again.

I understand that the whole area is really pretty, but would we want to keep visiting lavender fields for three days? What should we do on the third day? Are Arles, Avignon and Pont du gard better options?

If we decide to do that should we go towards Sault or Valensole on our second day?
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 08:24 AM
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Here's my trip report from last year at just about exactly the same time - and the photos. Perfect timing for lavender.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...swiss-alps.cfm

http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/france_-_provence
http://www.pbase.com/annforcier/france_-_cote_dazure
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 08:46 AM
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I understand that the whole area is really pretty, but would we want to keep visiting lavender fields for three days? What should we do on the third day? Are Arles, Avignon and Pont du gard better options?

You've put a lot of thought into it, maybe just relax once you're there and go with the flow? See what you find most appealing? Some suggestions ...

26th June- I would concentrate on Gordes, Abbaye, Roussillon and maybe the Lavender Museum.

27th June: This is the tricky day:
These are the places that we would like to go to:
- Sault
- Valensole


Dunno, I'd pick Sault as the go-to point and then either loop north back to the hotel via Vaison-la-Romaine (which we really liked) or loop south via Forcalquier and maybe Valensole for incredible lavender fields. You will see a lot of lavender this day ...

28th June: Avignon, Arles and Pont du Gard or Sault or Valensole

You will know by now whether you want more lavender (head east) or if you've had enough and want to see something else to the west/southwest. I can't help with Avignon, I didn't like driving there even from the TGV station. We tried to stay there first night on an upcoming trip so we could walk around and pick up the car the next day (ie, no car the night we're in Avignon) but couldn't get a room due to a film festival or something.

We really liked St. Remy so combining that with Arles and some of the Van Gogh places would be a nice day. But I would just wait until after you've been to Sault and then decide which way you want to go this day ... you can always go back. That's what we're doing in a few weeks.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2014, 08:47 AM
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Forgot to mention Les Baux as part of the St. Remy / Arles day ...
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Old Jun 24th, 2014, 10:40 AM
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Gordes. Ate here less than one week ago! Le Loup Blanc, in middle of town hidden on a short path across the street from the store selling authentic Provence fabric items. I had the most beautiful and delicious duck breast. W had perfect Charlevoix beef steak.

I loved Roussillon and must have taken 200 photos! Just gorgeous. I think you can handle it. Lacoste was beautiful but that is a steep difficult climb.

Contrary to others we found Saint Remy to be cater to tourists with trinkets sold everywhere. Just a personal observation.

Enjoy!
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